MCL Blogs

Getting online at the library, a coffee shop or a hotel is convenient, but what about security and privacy?

Anyone who is up to no good can monitor your activity on public wi-fi. Hackers easily get software that makes this possible. Your personal information, private documents, contacts, photos, even your login credentials can be seen. This information can be used to access your accounts, impersonate you or steal your identity.

Public wi-fi includes open networks (which don’t require a password) and semi-open networks (which do, but anyone can log on).

Take precautions

  • If possible, wait until you can use a network you know is secure to check email or do online banking or shopping. They all involve sending passwords and personal information.
  • When you do use public wi-fi, check that you are connecting to the correct network. A coffee shop’s wi-fi may be named espresso1, but someone could have set up a false wi-fi and named it freecoffee. If you login to freecoffee, all your information will flow through the hacker’s computer.
  • Look for https in the address bar. This means that the site is encrypted. A hacker can still intercept your information, but it will now be harder to read and use. Every page of a website should be encrypted. If you find yourself on an unencrypted page, log out right away.
  • Change your computer’s wi-fi settings to public and turn off file sharing.
  • Limit your time. Stay logged into wi-fi only while you need it.
  • Sign out of accounts. Log out when you are done.
  • Keep your computer and security software up to date. Pay attention to warnings that a site is unsafe.
  • Do not use the same passwords for different websites. If someone gains access to one of your accounts, they won’t have access to your other accounts.
  • Consider changing settings so your mobile device does not automatically connect to wi-fi.
  • Your phone’s cellular data is much more secure than public wi-fi. If in doubt use cellular.

VPN

If you regularly access online accounts through wi-fi hotspots, using a virtual private network (VPN) may be a good idea. VPNs encrypt traffic between your computer and the internet, even on unsecured networks. You can get a personal VPN account from a VPN service provider. Some organizations create VPNs to provide secure, remote access for their employees. VPN options are also available for mobile devices; they can encrypt information you send through mobile apps.

More resources

Tips for Using Public Wi-Fi Networks (Federal Trade Commission) 

VPN Beginner's Guide (The Best VPN) 

More topics

More ways to protect yourself online.
 

From: trustme@yourorgc.om
To:you@yourorg.com
Date: Monday May 5, 2018 3:30 am
Subject: Act now to avoid irreparable consequenses!!!!!!!!

Hello Sparky,

Due to the iregular fiscal quarter, we will need to upload our monthly reports early and to a different server. Click on this link spreadsheet or the attatchment below to upload your financial reports. Keep up the good work!

Sincerely,

Todd Goodatmanagement Esq.
CEO- Your Org


Consider the above email. Anything seem odd? Out of place? Abnormal? Too good to be true? Go with your gut! 

Criminals running phishing scams are crafty chameleons who excel at impersonating agencies and authorities in order to trick you into releasing valuable data. Email is a very common medium for these con artists. Be suspicious of any email out of the ordinary. Look closely at the following items to protect yourself. 


1. From: Is the sender’s email address from a suspicious domain? Is this not someone you usually communicate with?

2. To: Were you cc’d on this email but don’t recognize the other names who received it? Is there an unusually large amount of people in the To field? Do all the names start with the same letter?

3. Date: Did you receive the email during regular business hours? Did you receive it suspiciously late at night?

4. Subject: Does the subject line seem unrelated to the content of the email? Are there misspellings? Is the message a reply to something you never sent or requested?

5. Content: Is the sender asking you to click on a link or attachment to avoid a negative consequence or gain something of value? Is the email asking you to look at a compromising picture of you or someone you know? Are there misspellings and bad grammar? Do you get a gut feeling that something is not right?

6. Hyperlinks: Remember, "hover to discover." Hover your cursor over the link without clicking to display the full web address. Is it what the email claims? Is it slightly different than an address you know? Is the email just a hyperlink?

7. Attachments: Is this attachment unexpected or seems to not relate to the message? Is it an odd file type? The only file type that is always safe to click on is a txt file.


Want some more info? Check out these articles:

The Motherboard Guide to Not Getting Hacked

Protect Yourself from W-2 Phishing Scams

Netflix Phishing Scam Provokes Police Warning

Ecommerce: Is it truly safe?

 

And of course, your library has hundreds of books to arm yourself with.

More ways to protect yourself online.

 

A phishing website or email is a scam to trick you into revealing personal information by appearing to be from a someone or an organization you know. 



Phishing is a game as old as time. Call them hackers, social engineers or bad actors — just new names for the huckster, the hustler, the confidence man. Smooth talkers who manipulate people into parting with their hard earned money, then disappear.

Legitimate agencies rarely ask you to send sensitive information through email or text messages.

It’s probably phishing if:

  • There are spelling and grammar mistakes
  • The language is urgent or threatening
  • The message asks for personal information, such as social security number, bank account number, your mother’s maiden name
  • It’s too good to be true


What if I’m unsure about an email?

  • When in doubt, delete it.
  • Do not reply.
  • Do not open any attachment.
  • Do not click on any links.
  • Hover your cursor over links to see the true address
  • If you know the sender, reach out to them by phone or text to ask if this is a valid email
  • You can report suspicious emails and phishing scams to your email providers, or to phishing-report@us-cert.go

 

Want more info on phishing? Check out these videos:

Phishing in a Minute: Decoded
E-Safe Phishing Cartoon

And of course, your library has hundreds of books to arm yourself with.

More topics to keep you safe online

For those of us who love classic literature, Multnomah County Library is a great resource. There are ongoing Classics Pageturners book discussion groups at Hillsdale Library and Hollywood Library, plus a Quarterly Classics group at Capitol Hill Library.  Copies of the books will be available two months in advance of the discussions.  Please call the branch to confirm.  Following that are a series of lists of Western and non-Western literature from every era.

Here are the Classics book group schedules:

Hillsdale Library Classics Pageturners,

Second Saturdays, 3-5 pm

 

April 14, 2018, The Prince, by Niccolo Machiavelli

 

May 12, 2018, The Early History of Rome, books I-V, by Livy

 

June 9, 2018, The Trial, by Franz Kafka

Hollywood Library Classics Pageturners,

Third Sundays, 2-4 pm

 

April 15, 2018, The Consolation of Philosophy, by Boethius

 

May 20, 2018, The Analects, by Confucius. (This is a different edition and translation than the group will read)

 

June 17, 2018, The Mill on the Floss, by George Eliot. (This is a different edition than the group will read)

Capitol Hill Library Quarterly Classics

Second Wednesdays, 1:30 pm, October 2017, January, April & July 2018

 

April 11, 2018, The Golden Notebook, by Doris Lessing

 

July 11, 2018, Native Son, by Richard Wright

 

Everyone knows I love a good tiger-striped coat (for evidence, note our two tabby cats and one brindle dog), and that I have a soft spot for rescued pets. My family’s first kitten sauntered up to our doorstep, climbed up the screen door, and meowed to high heaven during dinner hour. My siblings and I named her, in the straightforward style of children under five, Tiger.

The author of Maverick and Me chose a more unique name for her pet (I think you can guess what it is), the real-life rescue dog this book is based upon. The story begins on a cold and rainy afternoon, when a woman finds a sick and tiny puppy with a tiger-striped coat by the side of a road. She nurses him back to health, and gets him ready to find a home.

When a young girl named Scarlett meets Maverick at an adoption event, his life takes a turn for the better. Together, they come up with a fun way to tell all of her friends about other puppies that need homes. This heartfelt picture book introduces kids to the concept of pet adoption, and will spark conversations about helping pets in need.

April 30th is National Adopt a Shelter Pet Day. If you're thinking of adding a new furry (or feathered!) member to your family, our local shelters have some great pets to choose from. If you aren’t looking for a pet of your own, here are other ways you can help out pets in need:

  • Foster a dog or cat up for adoption at your local animal shelter

 

 

  • Donate supplies. Most shelters are always in need of blankets, toys, and dog/cat food. If you happen to buy some food that your pet doesn't like, why not donate it? The Multnomah County Shelter even has an Amazon wish list to make donations easier.

  • Share the idea of pet adoption with family and friends who are looking for a pet. There's nothing like love from a pet who's found its furrever home!
 

 

Logo for Bike to Books
Celebrate National Bike Month!

Ride your bike to the library during May and get a free bike light!

Multnomah County Library is partnering with the City of Portland Bureau of Transportation and Metro to give free bike lights to patrons who ride their bikes to any Multnomah County library during the month of May. (One bike light per person, while supplies last.)

Other fun ways to celebrate National Bike Month:

#BiketoBooks

 

book cover for Katherine Johnson
Although March is coming to an end, it's not too late to celebrate Women's History Month!  In fact, in just a short period of time, you can read about women from all over the world in some great, new books for youth. 

Just in time for the movie A Wrinkle in Time, there's a new biography of Madeleine L'Engle written by her granddaughters: Becoming Madeleine.  You'll get an up close and personal look at the author through photographs and excerpts from her diaries.  Katherine Johnson finally got some well-deserved and long-overdue recognition through Hidden Figures (the movie and the book) and there have been several recent books published for youth as well.  One I recently enjoyed is in the fun and informative You Should Meet reader seriesKatherine Johnson by Thea Feldman. For anyone who loves art and/or science, The Girl Who Drew Butterflies by Joyce Sidman is the perfect match as it is about a woman who loved, studied and practiced both!  So get reading before the month is over (but feel free to enjoy these books any time of the year)!

March 14 Roosevelt HS walkout. Courtesy of the Gresham Outlook.
“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world.”

-- attributed to Margaret Mead, used with permission

The students at Florida’s Stoneman Douglas High School -- who channeled their fear and outrage over the horrific event at their school into an organized, non-violent campaign advocating for an end to gun violence and mass shootings -- embody Mead’s thoughtful, committed citizens. In one short month, they organized the National School Walkout on March 14 and the upcoming March for Our Lives on March 24, as well as a third protest commemorating the 19th anniversary of the mass shooting at Columbine High School on April 20. For more books about student activists and activism, take a look at this list.

Hundreds of Multnomah County students participated in the walkout on March 14. Reynolds High School students, who experienced a school shooting in 2014, heard from one of their classmates, as reported in the Gresham Outlook (photo left).

March for Our Lives in downtown Portland
"Divine Robertson, a 17 year-old junior and an organizer of the Reynolds event said it was meant 'to give a statement to everyone out in the world...that we're not accepting that there are school shootings and that schools aren't keeping kids safe like they should.'"

An estimated 12,000 people participated in Portland’s March for Our Lives on March 24. Students at a number of Multnomah County schools have registered their intention to walk out in peaceful protest on April 20.

The Extra Woman

“I’ve never been much for the spotlight.”

by Sarah Binns

For this month’s Volunteer Spotlight, I was delighted to interview someone whose studious work ethic and generosity is familiar: Tim Feliciano, search assistant at Northwest Library, began working at that library in 2014 around the same time I did. For a fun- and book-filled couple of years, Tim and I were a team, dividing up the paging list, fulfilling holds, and having a grand time.

“I wasn’t sure I’d like volunteering at the library,” he remembers. “I wasn’t sure I could get through the long paging list, but then you came on and we developed a system.” The rest is history! Though I am no longer there, Tim continues as a search assistant and also shelves holds, weeds out old books, and even does book repair. “It’s a recent promotion,” he laughs. “When people take a book to the beach and it gets sandy, the binding falls apart. So I re-glue the binding on books like that or get liquid spills off covers.”

Born and raised in Portland, Tim’s path to library volunteering is unexpected. After attending PSU, OHSU, and University of Texas Medical Branch he worked at the American Red Cross Blood Donation Center in North Portland for 27 years. “I did everything from assisting at the blood bank to working on tissue typing for transplants. I enjoyed it a lot because I was behind the scenes. I’ve never been much for the spotlight.”

Along the way he met the person who would change his life—and his library habits—for good: “I met my wife Susan at a ballroom dance class about 30 years ago.”

“It was an intermediate swing class,” Susan adds. Susan Smallsreed is the Youth Librarian at Northwest Library, so Tim’s volunteer gig is all in the family. After retiring from the Red Cross, he says, “I needed things to do when you can’t play golf and the weather is bad, so I do things like bowling and pulling books at the library!”

Despite Susan’s library connection, Tim says he doesn’t read much besides the dictionary and technical or medical textbooks, which he memorizes thanks to a semi-photographic memory. He never stops learning, though, and is currently taking a PCC Italian language class to prepare for his and Susan’s trip to Italy in November. It will be a well-deserved vacation for one of Northwest’s longest-serving volunteers!


A few facts about Tim

Home library: Northwest

Favorite book from childhood: “For me it was Beauty and the Beast, Sleeping Beauty, those all ends well fantasies. For my kids it was Where the Sidewalk Ends.”

Most influential book: The Baltimore Catechism. “I studied that for two or three years.”

Favorite book as an adult: Any action adventure books by Clive Cussler and Graham Brown

Book that made him laugh: Growing up Catholic and They Kill Managers, Don’t They? “I thought, ‘this may help me’!”

E-reader or paper? Large print paper books

Thanks for reading the MCL Volunteer Spotlight. Stay tuned for our next edition coming soon! Read last month's Volunteer Spotlight.

 

 

Recent changes in the global marketplace for recycling material have trickled down to the Portland area and has resulted in a shift to what you can and can’t recycle locally. Prior to the start of 2018, local recycling drop off sites were informing consumers of the coming change and stopped collecting plastic bags, plastic film, clamshell containers, and lids.

What changed?

China, one of the larger purchasers of local recycled material, announced that they were going to halt the imports of some recyclable plastics and paper by 2018.

What can you do?

  • Metro suggests that you sort by plastic shape, not by number, when placing items in your home recycling container.
  • Be mindful of the seven things to keep out of your recycling bin.

  • Metro has a online database to help you locate options for recycling by material and by location.


Where can you learn more?

Here is a list with additional sites and links to help you sort through the recent changes to local recycling.

Pick up a Metro refrigerator magnet at your local library with contact information on who to ask if you should toss or recycle (while supplies last).

Need more help? Contact a librarian and let us know how we can assist you.


 

In the face of tragedy and violence, it can be hard to know what to say to kids. How do you answer your child’s questions while reassuring them that you will keep them safe? The American Psychological Association says, "It is important to remember that children look to their parents to make them feel safe. This is true no matter what age your children are, be they toddlers, adolescents or even young adults."

Here are three resources that can help parents and caregivers:

Helping your children manage distress in the aftermath of a shooting. From the American Psychological Association.

The National Child Traumatic Stress Network has several resources about mass violence available on their website including Talking to Children about the Shooting and Tips on Media Coverage

A Survival Guide for Parents of Teenagers: What if the next shooting is at my school? A tip sheet for talking to your teen about school violence. From the University of Minnesota College of Education and Human Development.

After Feb. 28, the library will no longer have audiobooks available via the Hoopla service. Here's the good news: Many of those same audiobooks are also available from OverDrive. We're making this change because it puts all of the audiobooks in one place and saves the library some money at the same time. To make sure you can still get the audiobooks you love, we’ve also added an “always available” audiobook collection to OverDrive comprised of 200 popular audiobooks from the Hoopla collection.

We made this change to our electronic offerings for a couple of reasons. The main one is budgetary: Hoopla operates on a cost per checkout basis, which means that it enables us to provide access to their whole catalog of material, but only pay for what gets used (usually $1.99-$3.99 per check out for audiobooks). This also means that the more it is used, the more we pay. Audiobooks have grown enormously in popularity over the past few years, on Hoopla, but especially on OverDrive (OverDrive audiobooks get about 5 times the checkouts Hoopla audiobooks do) and our budget has remained flat in that time as well. Since we can control costs on OverDrive better than we can on Hoopla and since it is the place most people already go for audiobooks, we decided to consolidate our audiobook offerings to the OverDrive service.

We know that this is disappointing for many people (we've heard from a lot of them), but we are trying to be good stewards of public funds. We plan to continue to support the unique content Hoopla offers (we will still offer music, video, and comic books on Hoopla) and expand the OverDrive collection, both in titles and in copies.

If you have never used OverDrive before, I hope you'll give it a try. We have made a page for easy browsing of currently available audiobooks here.


 

We know that snow day closures can throw things off-kilter. Don't worry, we've got you covered. For snow day closures:

  • Don't worry about returning your books when the library is closed for snow days.
  • Late fines won't be charged for the days the library is closed.
  • No holds will expire while the library is closed.

If you can't get into a library once we're open, contact us. We can extend due dates and holds, and fix any problems with late fines. Thanks again for your support of the library.

St Johns Library in the snow

A generation of sociopaths

You meet interesting people at the library
Pat Daggett

by Donna Childs

We know that libraries are full of stories, but they aren’t all between the book covers.  The staff and volunteers may have stories too.  Take Pat Daggett who enters holds data at the Sellwood Library every Tuesday.  Who would know that she and her husband lived in Saudi Arabia for four years?  A transportation expert, he helped the Saudis set up a bus system, while she did office work for the US Army Corps of Engineers.  After returning to the US with a new understanding of the region, they answered an ad to host Middle Eastern students.  That led to ten years of serving as second parents to students from Saudi Arabia, Libya, the United Arab Emirates, and Qatar.  Not only do the young people keep in touch after returning home, one called when a new student was arriving. He asked to speak to the new fellow to ensure that they’d be ok.   In addition to forming close friendships with their charges, they saw this venture as an “opportunity to create tolerance.”

In addition to the Corps of Engineers, Pat has worked for such diverse organizations as Reed College, AT&T, a congressman in Washington DC, attorneys in Ohio and Delaware, and the Oregon State Legislature.  She also spent 19 years working in many capacities at the American Tinnitus Association, where she became an expert in hearing issues.  

With a BA in Library Science, Pat was also an elementary school librarian for two years. As a member of the University Club’s Library Committee, she helps choose books for the club’s library and organize an annual dinner featuring a local writer as guest speaker.  Thus, it seemed natural for Pat to volunteer at Sellwood when she retired.  At first, she canvassed the library searching for holds, but now foot problems have necessitated a more sedentary task:  processing data on holds coming from and going to other County libraries.  Like many volunteers who work with holds, she relishes the chance to discover new books, and she enjoys Sellwood’s intimate atmosphere where she can get to know staff and patrons.


A few facts about Pat

Home library:  Sellwood

Currently reading:  Dinner with Edward by Isabel Vincent

Favorite book from childhood:  The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

Favorite section of the library:  Historical fiction and geography

E-reader or paper book?  paper

Favorite reading guilty pleasure:  before/during chores

Favorite place to read:  in a patch of sun

Thanks for reading the MCL Volunteer Spotlight. Stay tuned for our next edition coming soon! Read last month's Volunteer Spotlight.

Irie Page is about to turn 14. Instead of, say, a birthday sleepover, she has planned a gift for her community, a free event featuring Mike Domitrz, the founder of the Date Safe Project and a consent educator for kids, teens and adults.  The funny, interactive presentation that he gives to teens and adults is called "Can I Kiss You?", which is also the title of his book. It focuses on how to have healthy, safe relationships and how to both avoid sexual assault and avoid sexually assaulting someone else. Her family raised money online to pay Domitrz's speaking fee, and after the story was covered on the local news, they got all the funding they needed. The event will take place at 7 p.m. on Thursday, November 9th in the Lincoln Recital Hall at Portland State University. PSU has waived the rental fees in support of Irie’s event.


I first met this remarkable young woman at the reference desk at my library when she was just a little kid signing up for our Read to the Dogs program. We book lovers who work at the library always notice the passionate readers, the ones who leave with huge stacks of books they’re obviously eager to dive into, and that was Irie. When she was old enough, I suggested that she volunteer for our Summer Reading program, giving out prizes to kids for reading, and she brought huge enthusiasm to this as well. When she told me last summer about the event she was planning, we decided to put together a book display. Irie chose all the books herself. If you can’t get in to see the display, here’s the list.

“After I saw Malala speak, I was inspired to do something for my community,” Irie told me. She originally wanted actress and feminist Emma Watson. "That's not going to happen," her mom told her, and then suggested Domitrz. When Irie happened upon a book here at the library about philanthropy parties, her idea took off.

“I’ve always seen things in the world and thought, ‘That’s messed up. I want to change that,” said Irie. Like Malala, the Pakistani advocate for girls’ rights to education, she decided she could make a difference. She chose to start here, in her own city. 


***EDITED to update Irie's story. This event was a huge success. There was so much community interest that Portland State University gave them a bigger theater in which to hold it, and it was still standing room only, with more than 500 in attendance. I took my middle school-age son and we both found it interesting and inspiring. I was delighted last week when I ran into Irie in the library and she told me she's one of two state honorees for the Prudential Spirit of Community Award. This is a very big deal! She's won $1000, a silver medallion, and a trip to Washington, D.C. At a ceremony in D.C., five national honorees will be chosen from among the state award winners. The staff at my library, who has known Irie for so long, is rooting for her to win the national award, which comes with even more honors and with cash awards for her and for the charity of her choice. We're so proud of her.

 

cover of Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing
If I mention Peter and Fudge, I’m guessing there are 10-year-olds, 16-year-olds, 30- and 50-year-olds who will know these brothers. They probably also know that you can’t get freckles by drinking a nasty tasting potion. Many may remember the cruelty of classmates in Blubber. And they’ll probably know exactly who wrote Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing, Freckle Juice, and Blubber--Judy Blume of course!
cover of Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret

She happens to be celebrating her 80th birthday on February 12 and I've been reminded of how much I loved her books growing up. I commiserated with older sibling Peter living with his irrepressible little brother Fudge. I went along with Margaret as she dealt with friendships and puberty in Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret. We were checked for scoliosis at school and I thought of Deenie, the brace she wore and how much she wanted to be a regular teenager.

Judy Blume’s habit of writing real life and real characters continues in her adult novels. She wrote Summer Sisters for adults, but there are no doubt also teen readers for this book about friendship and choices. She later used an event from her own teenage years to explore loss, love and secrets as friends, families and strangers find their lives changed In the Unlikely Event.

Judy Blume is one of the most consistently challenged authors with books like Forever and Then Again, Maybe I Won’t. She hasn’t shied away from divorce, puberty, bullying, sex. It’s likely her honest and realistic writing is the reason for her fans across generations.

cover of Summer Sisters
I’m glad she’s been part of my reading life. Thank you for your books and happy birthday, Judy Blume!

 

 

 

 

 

Maya Lin:  Thinking with Her Hands book jacket
Every year I make a bunch of New Year's resolutions and this year is no different.  I've decided to ditch the annual "floss daily" one and add something more captivating (and hopefully more achievable). The most fun resolutions I make are all about reading and in 2018, I plan to read more non-fiction for kids and teens.  My nerdy librarian side has decided that I will take one "Dewey century" per month (which leaves me two months to read something else!) and explore books that provide inspiration for careers and vocations within each range.  I'm not talking about books like the super useful, but not super stimulating, Occupational Outlook Handbook, but books about interesting people doing interesting things.  I randomly came across a book about Maya Lin recently, so decided to start with architects and artists,
The Shape of the World book jacket
thus books from the 700-799 Dewey range were on my nightstand in January.  I loved  Maya Lin: Thinking Wtih Her Hands, a small, perfectly packaged book about Lin and some of her most famous projects like the Vietnam Veterans' Memorial in Washington, D.C.  I knew exactly nothing about another architect, I.M. Pei, until I read I.M. Pei: Architect of Time, Place and Purpose.  What a fascinating guy!  Beyond these two books, I read a number of picture book biographies for younger budding architects and artists.  You can find the list here.  So if you know some kids who love their L-squares, mechanical pencils and paint brushes, hand them a few of these books and see where they go! 

P.S.  I'd love to hear about YOUR reading resolutions for 2018!

Percy Julian
Welcome to Black History Month. Every day this month features people and events making significant contributions to American history and how we live Now! Don't miss programming, classes and events throughout February and beyond at a library near you.

 

Slavery to Civil Rights

Innovation

Fashion

Now!

 

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